Rain Helps Firefighters Gain Ground Against Colo. Wildfire - NECN

Rain Helps Firefighters Gain Ground Against Colo. Wildfire



    Rain helps firefighters gain ground against Colo. wildfire

    Blaze in Colorado Springs area has been most destructive in state's history (Published Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014)

    (NECN/NBC News: Kurt Gregory) - Much needed rain in Colorado helped hundreds of firefighters gain much-needed ground against the state's most destructive blaze.

    Friday afternoon brought rain and opportunity to the fire-ravaged Black Forest area in Colorado.

    "Today, we had an opportunity and we took it," said incident commander Rich Harvey. "Our containment has moved from five to 30 percent."

    Firefighters used the break in hot and dry weather to beat back the fire that has scorched at least 24 square miles.

    Burning since Tuesday, the fire has claimed two lives and damaged or destroyed at least 400 residences, including Katie Dubois' home.

    "It's torched,” said Dubois. “There are some areas that aren't, so we're going to rebuild."

    And for others, the break is a chance to see if their houses still stand.

    Residents under evacuation orders were given escorts to check on their property.

    For some in Colorado Springs, those evacuation orders have been lifted. But officials warn the danger is not over yet.
    "I want to remind people, we still have a fire," said Sheriff Terry Maketa.

    "We've seen before that these fires can appear to be under control, and you get a strong wind, and all the sudden they blow back," said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

    Gov. Hickenlooper has declared his state a disaster area as hundreds of firefighters battle flames on the ground and from the air.

    "It is not a done deal,” said Harvey. “Thirty percent is not 100 percent."

    Officials and firefighters vow to not stop fighting until it is a done deal.